A puzzle

Foundations of physics and/or philosophy of physics, and in particular, posts on unresolved or controversial issues

Re: A puzzle

Postby Joy Christian » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:07 pm

gill1109 wrote:Now the Karl Hess story is very interesting, and sheds most of all light on his and Walter Phillips (RIP) characters. Both at Illinois, both Austrians. They published a disproof of Bell in PNAS (as academicians they have a fast track to publication in their own journal - no troublesome referees). It turned out to contain a fatal error. The "local" hidden variable was so complex one needed a lot of notation and at one point three "hidden" indices to describe it. One of the indices got forgotten, leading to a normalization error. They didn't divide by the right "constant". With Zeilinger, Weihs and Zukowski, and later help from Larsson, we identified the error. Hess and Phillip were furious. After about just one polite email we were getting angry, abusive mails back. Phillips soon after died of a stroke. He had actually been acting strange the previous few years, brain tumour; before that he had been a highly respected very abstract pure probabilist. Hess is an electronic engineer. Phillips did the math, Hess did the physics. Now Joe Doob is a wonderful probabilist, one of the greatest of the last century, and he certainly never knew any of my work nor would have the slightest interest in it. I used some elementary martingale theory to study the memory loophole. Simple stuff. So to Doob, I am/was quite simply completely unknown, off the radar. The remark "third rate statistician" is not Doob's, but Hess or Phillip's. Notice Christian's also "not even a mathematician, you are just a statistician" remark. This is quite extraordinary arrogance and not only that, stupidity, if we look at the enormous importance of statistics today and the incredible strides which have been taken in the field in such a short time.

So the Hess-Phillip model was dead, but because of the renormalization, it could be resurrected as a detection loophole model. And nowadays, indeed, Hess works with de Raedt. Unfortunately, Hess will not be at Vaxjo this year. I'll ask Hans if he can ask Karl to confirm or deny the Doob story. The remark seems completely out of character, in Doob's mouth. I know many people who knew him well. But it fits very well to both Hess and Phillips' characters. Rather sad. Ego's getting in the way of science.


And here is their side of the story:

Dear Joy,

I am sorry to hear about your plight with Gill. He is a third rate mind and I had the following experience with him. After Walter and I wrote the PNAS paper about the role of time, Gill wrote a number of counter-papers with Zeilinger and others stating repeatedly that time was irrelevant and that our papers were non-local because our probability density depended on the settings of both sides but was not a product density. Then after three years of harassing us (I had to block his e-mails), he had turned himself into a complete pretzel and had to admit that time plaid a role after all. By choosing suitable delay times between the experiments with different settings one can easily get a violation. He wrote a paper with Larsson that repeated that our work was still non-local, because we had a setting dependent probability density. They did not need it because their parameters $\Lambda_{A, C}$ depended on the settings of both stations. They ignored that this were, of course, exactly our time and setting dependent equipment parameters that did the job, and stated after their equation 6 that their dependence was permitted because of the involvement of time delays, and one just needed to remember were their dependence on both settings came from. This is in the literature and can be read by anyone and I would say that most serious people who understand the text would conclude that Gill showed definitely dishonest behavior and just adopted our (more general ) idea, and made it their own and stated that we were wrong.

Gill also e-mailed Walter that he should not work with me, because I was just an ignorant engineer (I am actually a member of both the National Academy of Science and Engineering and Walter knew that, of course).

It is terrible that a third rater like Gill can do so much damage. Mermin wrote an e-mail to Walter saying in essence that Gill is a card holding probabilist and must therefore know what he says.

This whole story reminds me of Goethe's word:

Those who exclusively for truth have yearned
and then discovered it
Have been since ages crucified and burned.

One might like to add that there always were those like Gill that tried to make innocence and honesty suffer.

Best wishes,

Karl


There are other comments and details by Karl that are far more damaging for Gill. I will publish them here if Gill continues his unhealthy ad hominem attacks on me.

Dear Joy,

I fully agree with what you said below. Please also feel free to let anyone know what I think of Gill.

Best wishes, stay in touch,

Karl
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Re: A puzzle

Postby gill1109 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:31 pm

Gill also e-mailed Walter that he should not work with me, because I was just an ignorant engineer (I am actually a member of both the National Academy of Science and Engineering and Walter knew that, of course).

Well that is a lie. These guys were paranoid. Hess still is. Very sad.

Those who exclusively for truth have yearned
and then discovered it
Have been since ages crucified and burned.


They blocked my emails because they were so certain they were right (their paper was reported in newspapers around the workd). So they never understood the point.

Walter had a serious brain tumour. I knew Karl's credentials. Seems I should post my side of the correspondence here. Pity Walter is dead.

Notice that Hess says that *Mermin* said I was a card-carrying probabilist. Well, Mermin wouldn't know the difference between a probabilist and a statistician. Mermin was wrong. I am just, merely, a statistician, and proud of it.

Hess is the one says I am a third-rater, twice. What an innocent, honest, nice person he must be.

Please post more of the correspondence, Joy. I got the impression that Hess was an aggressive, unpleasant, arrogant person. Who couldn't admit to making a mistake and never grasped the issues. But maybe he's a nuce guy really, just mistaken. It can happen. It is very good there is a channel of communication open now via Hans de Raedt. Who really is a nice guy.

I got the idea of the coincidence loophole from Hess and Phillip. This was a really important step forward. Nobody had studied it before. Nowadays, the experimenters are using Larsson and my adjusted CHSH to take account of the loophole. So the Hess-Phillip paper was not a dead end at all, though it actually kind of meant the opposite to what the authors claimed at the time. Now Hess has turned around. Great! Progress!

By the way, there was absolutely nothing in the Hess-Phillip work either about post-selection because of the detection loophole or because of the coincidence loophole. After fixing their typo, their theorem was no longer true, but the maths could be given a new interpretation as a detection loophole model. The needed renormalization could be done by probabilistically conditioning on hidden variables, separately in both wings of the experiment.

The idea that they "invented" the coincidence loophole is ludicrous. Their work inspired its discovery. Fantastic. One sees that engineer Hess is a bit muddled. Mathematician Phillips blew the maths, physicist Hess blew the physics. I think that neither understood what the other was doing, and no-one checked the details, till Gill and other evil guys did it. Hess still has no idea. Very very sad. And he is in poor health, Hans tells me.
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Re: A puzzle

Postby minkwe » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:11 am

gill1109 wrote:Michel, we agree. Einstein was wrong, Christian is wrong, Hess and Phillip were wrong.

Richard we do not agree, Einstein was right, Christian, Hess and Phillip are right. Bell's theorem is wrong. There is no conflict between QM and Local Reality.

Now, the interesting thing is, that due to the loopholes afflicting all past experiments, it is still possible to believe that QM actually is a physical theory, and not just a measurement theory.

Loopholes are irrelevant, there is no mechanics in Quantum mechanics. Saying QM is a physical theory is just like saying Probability theory is a physical theory. QM is just a probability theory for reasoning about outcomes of reproducible experiments.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1303.4574
Quantum theory as the most robust description of reproducible experiments

De Raedt and colleagues have simulated them all. However the experiment that is still to come (five years off, they say) will be different, if it is successful. They will no longer be able to simulate it!

Show me an experimental result and it can be simulated, until then you have no basis suggest otherwise. Do you know of any experiment so far which cannot be simulated, Richard? What magic are they going to do within five years to achieve that fit then? On what basis do you even make that suggestion? Ah of course, it is based on the assumption that the QM probabilities are properties of a population prior to measurement, and measurement simply samples it. You've stated as much many times.
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Re: A puzzle

Postby gill1109 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:41 pm

minkwe wrote:Show me an experimental result and it can be simulated, until then you have no basis suggest otherwise. Do you know of any experiment so far which cannot be simulated, Richard? What magic are they going to do within five years to achieve that fit then? On what basis do you even make that suggestion? Ah of course, it is based on the assumption that the QM probabilities are properties of a population prior to measurement, and measurement simply samples it. You've stated as much many times.

Dear Michel,

I said time and time again that every single one of the experiments done to date (of the kind we are talking about) can be simulated in local realist, event-based manner. None of them proved anything. They were all "the wrong experiment".

Not one of the experiments done to date was the experiment carefully specified by Bell. Read "Bertlman's socks" for his most careful description of a loophole-free experiment - i.e., an experiment whose results could actually prove something.

When we discuss experiments, by the way, the word "prove" is obviously to be understood in an experimental sense, ie statistical sense.

The experimentalists admit this. Some hope that they might actually do Bell's experiment, or equivalent, within about five years from now. The "magic" they use is lasers, photo-detectors, parametric down conversion, very fast electronics. All these things have been getting better and better, decennium after decennium. Last year the detection loophole was finally overcome, in two separate experiments by two separate groups. They argue about priority. All that remains is to increase the distance and improve the rapid, random, local generation of settings. We already had experiments with these last two factors OK but unfortunately much too low detection rate.

Ask Weihs, Zeilinger, Gisin ... if you want more explanation of the "magic".
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Re: A puzzle

Postby minkwe » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:11 am

gill1109 wrote:When we discuss experiments, by the way, the word "prove" is obviously to be understood in an experimental sense, ie statistical sense.

To an eager amateur carpenter with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But not everything is.
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Re: A puzzle

Postby gill1109 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:04 am

minkwe wrote:
gill1109 wrote:When we discuss experiments, by the way, the word "prove" is obviously to be understood in an experimental sense, ie statistical sense.

To an eager amateur carpenter with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But not everything is.

Uh??? Seems to me Michel is the eager carpenter.

Please read Bell's "Bertlmann's socks" and Bell's "Atomic-cascade photons and quantum-mechanical nonlocality". Study figure 7 of the former, and figure 1 of the latter, and study the accompanying text of both. Notice in both article Bell's list of four possible logical conclusions.

You'll find out that Bell's experiment is not the experiment you've been busy simulating, and Bell's theorem is not Bell's theorem at all.

Unfortunately I can't quickly find a free pdf of "Atomic-cascade photons and quantum-mechanical nonlocality" on internet. However I can email a personal copy to anyone interested.
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Re: A puzzle

Postby minkwe » Thu May 01, 2014 10:01 am

Richard, what is interesting are the predictions of QM for EPRB-type experiments, actual EPRB-type experiments, and simulations of those experiments. Those are all feasible, they have been done, they confirm each other. Bell is the only odd man out. You do not need statistics to understand this elementary undisputed fact. ImageWake me up when your so-called "Bell experiment" is actually performed.
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Re: A puzzle

Postby gill1109 » Thu May 01, 2014 10:54 am

minkwe wrote:Richard, what is interesting are the predictions of QM for EPRB-type experiments, actual EPRB-type experiments, and simulations of those experiments. Those are all feasible, they have been done, they confirm each other. Bell is the only odd man out. You do not need statistics to understand this elementary undisputed fact. ImageWake me up when your so-called "Bell experiment" is actually performed.

They say they will do it in five years. In the meantime you can safely sleep, because experiment and simulation have so far proven absolutely nothing which we didn't already know. As Caroline Thompson, a very wise woman, kept saying. Only the last year, have the experimentalists finally woken up themselves, and started to take her recommendations seriously. Seems you are a bit out of touch with recent developments.

So: sleep well! Maybe you will sleep a very very long time. As long as no-one has done Bell's experiment, no-one knows, nothing is decided, everything fits to what we knew before. Boring. Very boring. So boring as to send one to sleep, indeed ...
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Re: A puzzle

Postby minkwe » Thu May 01, 2014 4:43 pm

gill1109 wrote: Seems you are a bit out of touch with recent developments.

You are probably referring to the fact that they have now abandoned the CHSH and jumped on other fatally flawed inequalities which have not had as much scrutiny as the CHSH. But I suspect you are afraid to mention them by name lest they share the fate of the CHSH.

So: sleep well! Maybe you will sleep a very very long time. As long as no-one has done Bell's experiment, no-one knows, nothing is decided, everything fits to what we knew before. Boring. Very boring. So boring as to send one to sleep, indeed ...

As far as your arguments are concerned, I'm asleep. They mean absolutely nothing, until your special Bell's experiment is done. In the mean time, everyone else is in agreement QM, already performed experiments, simulations, Joy's model etc. I can see why someone holding your position would hope for the experiment to be done. They've essentially sold all your property and bough Bell stock hoping that it will appreciate. That would explain the vendetta against anything anti-Bell, even though they admit that the super-extra-special Bell's experiment has never been done but will be done tomorrow (luckily for them, tomorrow is never today).

...it seems.
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Re: A puzzle

Postby gill1109 » Fri May 02, 2014 12:12 am

minkwe wrote:As far as your arguments are concerned, I'm asleep.

You hit the nail on the head there.
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Re: A puzzle

Postby minkwe » Fri May 02, 2014 7:25 am

gill1109 wrote:
minkwe wrote:As far as your arguments are concerned, I'm asleep. They mean absolutely nothing, until your special Bell's experiment is done.

You hit the nail on the head there.
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Re: A puzzle

Postby gill1109 » Fri May 02, 2014 8:32 am

So we cannot talk about experiments not yet done. Does this apply to experimenters also? I wonder how they can plan future experiments if they can only ever talk about old ones.

So all Gedankenexperimenten are "verboten"? No-one should read Bell's chapters 13 and 16 because no-one did that experiment yet? Should the EPR paper be withdrawn because no-one did that experiment yet? Should Stern and Gerlach not have published their paper, because their experiment wasn't actually done till 30 years later? Should no-one have talked about the Higgs boson (not even Higgs) till after Cern's experiment? But hold it ... that experiment did not prove the Higgs exists. It's outcome was perfectly possible without a Higgs. So that experiment should not have been done? This is a fascinating view of science. Scientists may only discuss past experiments.

By the way, in his experiment, Christian still insists on computing each correlation on all N runs, the same ones for each correlation. No disjoint sub-samples. But since the experiment is only a thought experiment we cannot discuss it scientifically.
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